Many progressives are today organizing a boycott over Papa John’s threat to cut worker hours in response to President Obama’s re-election. John Schnatter, the CEO of Papa John’s, said that as a result of Obama’s re-election, and the subsequent implementation of Obamacare, he would consider cutting his employees hours. Scnatter’s comments immediately created controversy, and many Twitter and Facebook users are now promising to boycott the pizza chain.
This is not the first time that Schnatter has taken issue with Obamacare. In August of 2012, Schnatter said he would have to raise pizza prizes by up to 20 cents in order to pay for increased costs under Obamacare. Many Facebook users angrily replied that would gladly pay 14 cents more per pizza for increased access to health care. It is also worth noting that Obamacare provides tax credits and deductions to help offset the costs of health care insurance.
Papa John’s earned $1.22 billion in revenue in $1.22 billion in 2011, and had an income of $451.13 million. That is hardly the kind of revenue generated from a “mom and pop” small business store. Scnatter alone made a salary of $2.75 million in 2011, and is estimated to be worth over $260 million given the stock he owns in the company. Schnatter estimated that the Obamacare would cost Papa John’s $5 million to $8 million annually. Rather than pay for those new costs by cutting the profit margin or the executive salaries at his company, or even by raising pizza prices by two dimes, Schnatter is instead trying to avoid the law by cutting hours for the lowest paid workers at the company.
Twitter users immediately noted that Schnatter has promised to “give away” over 2 million pizzas, but at the same time cannot find the money to pay for providing health insurance to his full time employees. A post on Papa John’s Facebook page on Friday generated 1565 comments, many of which expressed outrage over Scnatter’s comments even though the post was non-political in nature. On Twitter, many users are promising to boycott Papa John’s and websites with boycott pledges are already up and running.